After the BiH Central Election Commission (CEC BIH) confirmed the results of October 7 General Elections, elected politicians can now start to prepare for the next four years in office, hopefully to work for the benefit of all citizens in the state, regardless of their nationality.
The first signs however, show that this will not be the case.
The biggest change in these elections are the personalities of the tripartite BiH Presidency, to which three new members were elected. The truth is that the animosity between newly elected members Milorad Dodik (Serb), Šefik Džaferović (Bosniak) and Željko Komšić (Croat) is so deep that is almost visible in every statement. Dodik and Komšić are already in conflict because Komšić already had several statements with sharp messages to Serbia and its politicians. For example, Komšić recently said that “Zagreb and Belgrade should keep in mind where citizens are crossing the border and present identification documents”.
“That is on the river Sava, on the river Drina, and on the river Una. Just respect this and you will have no problems with me”, Komšić said.
Along with the reactions from Serbia, Dodik also sent a message to Komšić, saying that, for Serbs, Drina is not a border that separates, but a river that connects the Serb people.
“Komšić knows this very well, as he knows that he cannot do anything about it. He does not have the political strength or the competencies to set any conditions to anybody. For Republika Srpska, Serbia is a top priority, which is something the Dayton Agreement also takes into account, so I am putting Komšić’s statement into the context of his “legitimacy crisis”. He is not someone who can give lessons to anybody in Republika Srpska, not to mention Serbia, and he is aware of his own insignificance, that is why he is speaking as he does”, Dodik stated.
One of the reasons for the bad starting relation between two of them is also the fact that Komšić was elected with the majority of Bosniak votes and beat Dodik’s close friend, Dragan Čović, on the elections for Croat member of the BiH Presidency. This fact decreased Dodik’s influence on the decisions in the tripartite institution, since with Čović’s support he would easier pass his own ideas. But, the hard truth is that BiH Election Law is not perfect and it is possible for Bosniak voters to elect the Croat member of Presidency, in this case Željko Komšić.
The Bosniak member of BiH Presidency, Šefik Džaferović, decided to remain silent until the final confirmation of the election results. A day after the results were finalised, he announced that he will sue Republika Srpska Government and the newly elected RS president, former RS PM Željka Cvijanović, because in the 20th Report of the RS Government to the UN Security Council, they accused him of war crimes. The Report states that the election of Džaferović as the BiH Presidency member has “disturbed Serbs, and represents a mockery of the rule of law and reconciliation, having in mind that his links to war crimes committed by the El Mujaheed unit have been proven”.
Džaferović demanded that Cvijanović either retracts the statements within seven days in accordance with defamation laws, or present evidence, court rulings and confirmed facts proving that he is in any way connected to any criminal act or war crime.
“Your report is riddled with falsehood, theories and shams”, Džaferović says in the open letter to Cvijanović, stressing that because of the Bosnian Serb campaign against him, prosecutors launched an investigation and dropped it for lack of “any basis for a doubt” a crime was committed.
Džaferović added that “those who not only deny the genocide and the crimes that were proven in court, but also glorify them and decorate convicted war criminals, are the ones who mock the rule of law and reconciliation”.
For several analysts in BiH the situation is very clear – Dodik will be the “extended arm” of his friend and Croat Democratic Union president, Dragan Čović, and Komšić will support Bosniak ideas presented through Bosniak member, Šefik Džaferović. At a glance, the natural question is – how will they cooperate at all?
The answer is they must cooperate since the Presidency has constitutional obligations, and they are elected to implement them. Maybe the best way is to respect the advices of International Community High Representative to BiH, Valentin Inzko, who in his address to UN Security Council said that reforms must be implemented as quickly as possible.
“Authorities must first focus on strengthening the rule of law; second, they must strengthen the functioning, independence, and stability of BiH official institutions and third, they must initiate the country’s economic development… Those speaking of EU membership as their ultimate goal will have to find a compromise, support the functioning of institutions and speedup the reform process”, Inzko said./IBNA